Chapter 107265957

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Chapter NumberLXXXVIII
Chapter Url
Full Date1884-06-14
Page Number7
Word Count4079
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleEvening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931)
Trove TitleThe Orphan Cousins
article text ORPHATcOUSiS. CHAPTBE LXXX VIIL vm,T,T»H ra disappointed. At the end of six -weeks William returned from the west to Uew York, and, anxious to learn the result of the endeavours of Mr. Frante to find his sisters, he hastened to that gentleman'B office. ' 'Have yon any news for me P' were the first words he asked on meeting the young lawyer. ' Yes ; and I obtained it very cheap/ answered Franta — ' bo cheap that I shall not touch any of your money. The -day after receiving your letter I received one from Mr. Aidridge. Here it is ;' and he handed William the letter. * Thank Heaven for that !' exclaimed William, on glancing over it j * Til be off and see her this minute.' * Wait/ said the lawyer j * I have to give yon a, cheque for fifty dollars, and I have some more good news to tell yon/ 'Never mind; I'll attend to that some other time/ said William, as he hastily left the room. ' Poor fellow !' exclaimed the lawyer, when William had departed. ? What a Bbame to de ceive him thus, and that without any reason ! Shame for having acted wrongly makes me un willing to reveal what must yet be known. The man who has the desire, but not the courage, to confess a wrong, is bad enough to continue it. Bat why should 1 reveal my private business to others P I will not. There is a little romance in this affair, and I \rill not spoil it. I will not lose Mary.' In about an hour and a half after 'William's departure he again rushed into the office. * She is not there !' he exclaimed excitedly ; 'she left about four weeks ago. I questioned the people in the houee for half an hoar, and oould not obtain the slightest information as to where she had gone.' 'And could you learn nothing about her sis ter ?' j ' You have mentioned just the amount I did ! learn. No. I am a little wiser now than yester- j day. I havo learnt that Mary was alive and well Bp to a few weeks ago; that she was earning a, respectable living, and residing in a good home.5 ' Well, that is very satisfactory so far ; and you must hope that all will yec be well.' * So I do ; but what was the other good news yon had for m6 ? I was eo disappointed about not meeting 'my sister that I returned imme diately to learn what it was, in order to strike a balance/ 'Your co-asin Maurice is not dead. He -was here a few days ago, looking the picture of health, and all ? * 'What! Maurice not dead? Well, that is indeed good news. Where shall I find him ?' ' I don't know. I was jast leaving the oSce ?with two of my clients as he called, and he would leave me, as I thought, to call again the next day ; but £ have never seen him since/ ' He ia off to the country, then, to his old home. Perhaps £ shall hear from Mary there ; and Fll start this day/ William hardly waited to bid Mr. Frantz fare well before he was off. The next day he was with Squire Aldridge, and met with another -fee- appointment. Maurice had been home, stayed three days, and then left for New York. ' He was very anxious to find you/ said the Squire ; ' and thought that he would soonest meet ! you in the city, fie was in a very de«ponding Etate, and said that he was farther from, finding his sister than ever/ * That is all right. I have found hiB sister for him/ ? ' Yon have ! Well, I am pleased at that. It j is the best thing I've heard since I heard the ! voice of Maurice on his return. He did not know j 'what reason -we had to think him -tead, and was j a little inclined to swear about you for making j the false report. And you have found his sister ! j That'8 good news; but have you found your own?' * No ; Bhe had left tho place where ehe was liv ing when she wrote to you ; and that is all I could learn about her/ * This ie strange. I srrote to her that you had returned and were trying- to find her. I am ! afraid there is something wrong, or she would have written to me again/ ' There is something wrong ; and I fear that j Mary, Kitty, Mauriea, and myself will rjever j meet together again. The girls should have j waited here till we returned/ \ ' So I told them ; but they wonld go, and I had no authority to stop them. It is as much as I can do to persuade one woman to obey me. But don't you despair, my boy. Your 6ifiters were well a few weeks ago ; you will find them again. You have good health, and some money. Mau rice has returned, and you have found his sister ; eo, on the whole, I don't eee that. Fortune has deserted you or your friends, but quite the con- 1 trary/ . J * I don't despair ; but I must move, and try to j find Maurice. He will help me to look for the i girls/ | ' You will find Maurice without much trouble, for he is eure to write to me soon ; and I wonder he has neglected it so long. Crive me an ad dreeB, and I will write to you when I hear from him/ William gave for hia address the little village an Duchess county where Norah was residing. The next morning, when about to start, Wil liam determined to call at the village, and see Norah, when on his way to tho city. He had not Been her for several weeks ; and such was his re gard for her that the wish for seeing Maurice, and great anxiety ou account of hie sisters, oould not prevent him from losing a few hours in grati fying the desire to see her again. CHAPTEB liXXXEX. ' FOBTTTNE SSHLXS AGAIN. It was in the afternoon when William reached the village where Captain Woods resided ; and being weary with the journey he determined to rest awhile at the public-house, and not call on Norah till the evening. This would prevent him from Teaching New York until the next day ; but, seeing no great necessity for bo much haste, he felt but little regret for the delay. He was within five minutes' walk of Norah, and business in New York appeared Icbb urgent than it had done the day before. On entering the parlour of the public-house, he vas nearly knocked down with the surprise of peeing Maurice. The two cousins rushed for ward, and clasped each other's hands, without saying s word. ' Hold I hold, Maurice ! don't crush my hand !' exclaimed William, after his cousin had given bis hand a grip like the bite of a vice. * Do yon believe that I am dead now ?' asked Maurice, giving more force to his grasp. 'So, I certainly do not/ answered William, withdrawing bis hand by a violent effort ; ' but yon should be. Where have you been all this time?' 'New Orleans and Mexico/ ' So have I ; but why did yon not come back to the boarding-house where we were staying ?' * On the morning we parted to look for work, I found a job, brok« my leg, and was taken to a hospital/ 'That explains how we lost each other. And after you got well you went to Mexico P' ' Yes ; but, before going, I learned at the shop of Mr, Adams, the 'Bouncer,' that you had gone/ 'Yea; and now we know each other's itory, excepting a few little particulars, -which we can tell some other time. We have something more important to talk about now; and to begin1, I will tell you that I can't find the girls. Mary and Kitty are lost to me/ 'That's all right. Sqnire Aldridge gave me Italy's address in New York/ ' But it is not all right. 1 have been to the nme address ; she was once there, bnt has gone, and I could not leara -where. There is something wrong. Bhe was an assistant school teacher, and was living in what appears to be a very respect able plac# ; but it seems strange to me that she Bhoola leave, without the people with whom she was living knowing anything of where she was going/ * It ifl indeed strange/ ?I questioned the people of the tionae where she lived for some time, bat oould learn nothing ; «bd I left with the suspicion that they knew more . than they were willing to tell/ ' I hope that suspiclpn is Wrong/ said Maurice ; * for if it is not, ffaexe is a greater wn»ag some vtava, W«»»rta**»5#wX«kt©.morr«r/ 'If we go to-morrow, yon must go out with me this evening; I want to call on some ac quaintances/ ' Can't you call alone ?' ' No. We have been apart bo long that Iwant jyour eooiety/ * I suppose you are going to eee the girl Ann, at the house of Captain Woods ; and I shall not go, for two reasons— I shall not be wanted ; and I am afraid I might see Mrs. Woods/ ''The Mrs. Woods you once saw is dead. There is another now; and as for your being not wanted, I know the girl will be pleased to see you. She remembers you ; and we often talk about you when we axe together/ ' Ib she happy and cheerful now V * Yes, very/ 'Then I don't mind seeing her. I did pity that poor girl, and I believe felt nearly as much j interest in her as you did, although of a different : nature. Ann used to live a miserable life with : Mrs. Woods, and I pitied her, thinking my sister, j wherever she might be, might possibly have a mistress nearly as bad/ The girl'B name is not Ann ; it is Norah/ j ' Then why was she called Ann P' 'Because Mrs. Woods thought the name of Norah too IriBh. Her name is Noran Londrighan/ ' William, don't trifle with me/ ' God forbid, Maurice, that I should ever do anything of the kind! I am telling you the truth/ Maurice sprang up, and standing' close to Wil liam, turned the gaze of bis large, piercing eyes en those of his cousin, and asked : ' William, is she my sister f ' Yes ; she is/ ' Tben eame on. Why have you kept me wait ing all this time ? Lead the way to her/ Maurice did not wait for William to lead the way, but hastened oat of the house. ? Which direction ?' he asked, when 'William reached the street. William took -his arm, and the two walked up the Btreet without speaking. The soul of Mau irice was overwhelmed with strong emotions. I Was he really to meet that sister for whom he ; had sought so long — for whom he had wandered ! bo far, and suffered so much ? Such happiness hardiy seemed possible. Some cruel circum stances were deceiving him. His oousia might be mistaken. A walk of five minutes brought them to a gate in front of a brick house painted white, where William stopped. ' Wait a minute/ exclaimed Maurice. ' Before I meet that girl, tell me what reason you have for thinking she is my sister ?' ' She Bays her name is Norah Londrighan/ * Go on/ ' Years ago she told Captain Woods that she had a brother Maurice, whom she asked him to find. She remembers the half of a letter which her grandfather was keeping for her. Her grand parents were passengers in Captain Woods'e ship to New Orleans, and ? ' 'That's enoagh,' exclaimed Maurice. 'Lead the way/ CHAJPTEB, XC. A BHOTHEH AND SISTBE. Mrs. Woods received William and Maurice in the parlour, and, promising to eend Norah to them, she left it. Norah soon after entered the room, and gave William a greeting that could net be understood as anything else but unfeigned joy at his refcurn. She then turned towards Maurice, and the next instant they were clasped in each other's arise. TaiB scene was broken by an attempt -m the part of Williara to leave the room, which was detected by Mb cousins and prevented. They made him sit down, and then Maurice and Norah. stood guziiig at each other for a minute in silence. ' I'm enre that I'v-e found my sister/ finally ex claimed Maurice, again embracing her ; * and she is a sister of whom 1 am not ashamed/ ' And I have found a brother/ said Norah. ? I am sure you are my brother, and I should have known it on the ship had yen spoken to me as much as William/ 'Never mind, Kbrah; you have found me now, a&d yoa shall never lose me again, unless by death/ ' We did think you were dead/ ' Hearing of my own death again !' exclaimed Maurice, ' I must have an explanation about that some time, William/ , ' Very well,* answered William ; ' I am not quite prepared to give it/ ' Such strange things happen now that I am ready to believe anything, except that I am dead. I was never more alive than I am now. I feel a little intoxicated. 1 have found a sister. Norah, why don't you talk ?' ' I have so much to say/ replied Norah, ' and feel so happy that I can't talk to-night/ I ' I think that is the way with us all,' said Mau rice. We shall have to be together for a day or two before we can arrange our thoughts, so as to give each other a dear understanding of the past, or form any plans for the future. I have yet to listen to a long story from each of you ; and then, William, we have Mary and Kitty to find, and ? they will have some adventures to tell/ ' My cousins Mary and Kitty/ said Norah. ' William has told me of them, and I am very anxious to see them. You must both go to New York, to find them out. I will not be so selfish as to wish to detain yon here ; for I know that you will not, and should not, be happy until they are found.' ' You are right, Norah/ said Maurice, * and a good girl, as I knew my sister would be, if I found her. I am well acquainted with yon, No rah, although I've heard you say but little j for I have often pictured in my mind the sort of girl I should like to meet as a sister, and the pictures I have formed have ever been similar and cor rect. You axe the ono I have ever been hoping to meet/ ' And £ h&ve always thought/ answered Norah, * that if I were so fortunate as to find my brother, it would take me a long time to become ac quainted with him ; bnt I was mistaken. I feel as though you were certainly my brother, and that I had known you for years/ Captain Woods was still with his family, and he and his wife accepted an invitation from Norah to enter the parlour of their own house. The captain gave Maurioe a hearty welcome, and gave every evidence of being much pleased at seeing him. 'When I learnt/ eaid he, 'that Norah'fi bro ther had been aboard my ship, and that the name of Maurioe Londrighan had been on its articles unobserved by me, and was then told that you had been killed in Mexico, conscience up braided me for my neglect, and for the little in terest I had taken in Norah's welfare. I assure you, it is a great relief to my mind to eee you under my roof alive and well, and, I hope, happy/ Maurice thanked the captain for his good wishes towards himself, and for the home his kindness had given to Norah ; and after a further conversa tion of about half an hour, he bade Mr. and Mrs. Woods good evening, kissed Norah, and, aooom panied by William, returned to the public-house, Maurioe had passed a happy evening— -eo very happy, taat even the pleasure of tbinkine of 'Lou' had not intruded upon the happiness found in meeting with his long-lost sister Norah. CHAPTER XCI. THX IiXTTEB. On retiring for the night at^the public-house, Maurioe and William, at their own request, were shown to a double-bedded room, where they turned in, but kept up a. conversation, neither of them being inclined to sleep. Both were bo ex cited by the events of the day, that they could not. exchange the happiness of that excitement fer the fergetf olness of sleep. 'There is one thing,' said Maurice, 'that I have often thought of daring the evening, tout have refrained from mentioning it, because it would have given a shade to the light of oar joy ; it is my mother's letter. That letter will never be read, as I have often fondly hoped and dreamed wonld be the case, when I should meet with Norah/ 'Never mind, Maurice/ eaid William, 'you have found your sister; and that yon should do so, I beliere was the principal cause of the letter being written. Your mother's dying wish is ful filled. Her children are not unknown to each other/ ' I know all that, William, and I am truly thankful to God for it j but then I should like, with Norah, to read the letter containing our mother's dying wishes and blessing. 1 have one piece | bat the ether, % few, is Josb tour fo» LSWSft* ? - - '?', 'What is that fonsay tasked William. 'You have one piece of itf 'Yes, certainly.* ' Nonsense, Maurioe ; yon are dreaming — you are mad. The excitement of the day- has upset your reason, I do believe/ William rose «&«?- attsbed, and actually seemed terrified. 'Fer God's sake, William, toll me what is wrong with yon/ exclaimed Maurice, ahio rising in bis bed, and staring at his cousin, * I have a I pieoe of my mother's letter, and you know it/ ' I don't know anything of the kind. On the ; contrary, I know that you have not. Your sister Norah has a piece of it in her possession/ : William had not the least doubt of the truth of ; every word he had spoken ; and Maurice, having just placed under his pillow the pocketboofc which he knew contained the half of the ^letter that should have been in his Bister's possession, was quite sure that every word, spoken by William was wrong. ' Do I understand you to say that Norah has a piece of my mother's letter ?' asked Maurice. i ' That ia what X said/ answered William, j * whether you understood me or not/ ' Now it is my turn to say you are mad. I know you are. May Heaven help you 1' ' I tell you, I have seen it !' exclaimed William. ' Can't I believe my own eyes ?' ' Yea, you may believe them, but I don't ; and I now advice you t© trust them no longer. I believe you are mad/ And I know you are. j The two cousins sat up each in his bed, gazing i towards each other, trying to pierce the darkness | of the room. i An idea then suddenly occurred to William — j Maurice might not have yet learned the loss he had sustained. 'Maurice/ said he, 'you have lost the half of your mother's letter that you carried so many years, and you have not missed it. I found the paper in a very strange manner — in a manner that led me to believe that you had been robbed and murdered. I brought the caper home, and gave it to Nerah/ ' I can understand all now/ said Maurice. * This is a strange world we live in. Do not eay anything more. Let me think/ William, believing that he had at last ar rived at the truthj laid down, and soon after slept. _ Biaurice waa awake all that night, thinking of his eister, of his mother's letter, of 'Lou,' and of the negro Bab, and pondering over the mysterious wayB of Fate. The next morning, soon after 9 o'clock, Maurice knocked at the door of Mr. WoodVe house. Norah met him in a manner that Bhowed ehe was pleased to think his regard for her had caused a visit eo early. ' Norah/ said he, when they reached the par lour, 'get the half of our mother's letter given you by William/ Norah took from around her neck a pink coloured ribbon, and by it drew from the bosom of her dress a little silk pocket, which sh« opened, and takiner from it a nieca nt na.n«r ha.»/iad if. t^ her brother. Maurice unfolded the paper, and saw the well remembered half of the letter which he had | carried so long, valued bo dearly, had lost, and expected never to eee again. He then took from his pocket-book tho half of the letter he had stolen from Bub. The two pieces were spxead on the table Bide by side, and over the table bent the brother and aieter as they read. We shall not give the contents of that letter, for it was written only for them. They did not show it to their cousin William, their dearest friend, and why should we show it to the world ? They read the letter two or threo times over, and then rose from the table, with eyes dimmed by tears. ' Let us exchange pieces of this letter/ said Maurice. ? I will keep the part I have carried since childhood, and you the part which was in tended for your care. We cannot always be together, and to-day we must part for awhile ; but whenever we meet after an absence, we will read this letter/ Long after, when Maurice and William had related to other the adventures they had met from the time they were separated in New Orleans until they met again, they tried to com prehend the mystery about the half of the letter Maurice stole from the negro ; but they could arrive at nothing more positive than sup positions. They could only conjecture that the young man seen by Captain Woods in New Orleans, who had formerly been anXapprentice of old Mr. Londri ghan, had retained possession of the paper which Norah thought he n&d taken when her grand mother had died. The young man must have gone to Mexico, as h» informed the captain he intended doing ; antd while there Bob must in eome way have exchanged papers with him. The Mexican robbers whom William saw shot at Perote had probably killed this young man, and taken from him the half of the letter lost by Maurice, and found by William. This was the only way they could explain the mystery ; and with that explanation the reader must be con tent. If we were writing a work ef fiction, we should have a fine opportunity of showing all the- inte resting particulars of the manner in which Maurice obtained that paper, and trace it from him to the possession of John Londrighan, his grand father ; but we are not writing fiction, and there fore only record the incidents of which we have eome knowledge. (TO BS OONTHnjKD.)